I had a commute companion this morning, my mom. She was a bit nervous because of the traffic. I put in a CD of the very first episode of This American Life which was a gift for being a public radio supporter at the hundred and twenty-five dollar level and for calling in during the This American Life hour. It is a soothing show and I think it made the trip better for my mom.
The first feature is about a guy who lives his life as if he is going to die in six months, on a date he sets while staring at empty tombs in Jerusalem on Passover/Easter weekend. He was twenty-seven at the time and forty-three at the time of broadcast (as well as an editor for the forward-looking magazine Wired ). The story is self-absorbed and the show on the whole has improved as it matures but it was a good thing to listen to on the morning expressway with a nervous air-brake riding mother.